EPCR is delighted to announce that Heineken is to return as the title partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup from the 2018/19 season.
The four-year deal will see the tournament renamed as the Heineken Champions Cup while at the same time maintaining its global recognition as The One to Win in club rugby with the world’s leading international premium beer brand as its main official partner.
The Champions Cup has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, intensifying competition with the reduction from 24 to 20 clubs and attracting aggregate attendances of more than one million fans in each of the past two seasons.
The tournament will be more accessible than ever to supporters from next season with live free-to-air broadcasts taking the matches to new audiences in the United Kingdom and Ireland (Channel 4 and TV3 respectively) in addition to the move to a single pay-TV broadcaster (BT Sport) in those territories with the possibility of an extra live free-to-air match per round on France Télévisions to complement beIN SPORTS’ continued coverage in France.
The tournament’s global reach has also been enhanced by the recent agreement with NBC Sports as rights-holding broadcasters in the USA.
EPCR Chief Executive, Vincent Gaillard, said: “We have substantially developed the Champions Cup over the past four seasons and it is fitting that at such an exciting time for the tournament, we welcome back a world-leading brand in Heineken®. They are steeped in rugby history and inextricably linked with the heritage of European club rugby and we are delighted to be embarking on this journey with their full support.”
Hans-Erik Tuijt, Global Sponsorship Director, Heineken, said: “It is an exciting time for Heineken to return as the main partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup. The expansion of the tournament to emerging rugby territories (Bilbao 2018) and new cities in traditional strongholds of European rugby (Lyon 2016, Newcastle 2019) provides Heineken with the opportunity to create engaging fan experiences and brings our association with rugby to new audiences throughout Europe. Heineken is proud to have had a close association with rugby for over 20 years and we look forward to working alongside EPCR to provide a platform to continue to develop the competition across Europe and beyond.”
The Heineken Champions Cup will further strengthen Heineken’s powerful portfolio of global sports alliances including the UEFA Champions League, Formula 1 and 2019 Rugby World Cup. The Pool Draw for the newly-titled tournament will take place in Lausanne on 20 June (15.00CET) when the first steps on the road to the 2019 Newcastle finals will be mapped out.
HEINEKEN is the world’s most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken brand, the Group has a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local and speciality beers and ciders. Heineken are committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through “Brewing a Better World”, sustainability is embedded in the business and delivers value for all stakeholders. Heineken has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets. It employs over 80,000 employees and operate breweries, malteries, cider plants and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. Heineken has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY). Most recent information is available on Heineken’s website: www.theHEINEKENcompany.com and follow us on Twitter via @HEINEKENCorp.